Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Bye" Bye

For the sake of Dennis Allen's job security, the one thing the Raiders couldn't do this year was get worse. Yet, based on the first two weeks of the season (as well as the tea leaves of the preseason), it seems like that's exactly what they've done.

It's one thing to take a step back from eight wins to four wins in your first year when the ship has already run aground. It's even another thing to still only win four games in your second year amid varying excuses (some valid, some not) and the promise that things will get better.

But after yet another full draft and a free agency period flush with cash, and with another year of experience under the coaching belt, and with ample time logged at the helm for exerting culture change...if, after all that, the team gets worse on the field?

Well, that's when the axe will fall, and it will fall sooner rather than later if something doesn't change very soon in the on-field performance of the 2014 Oakland Raiders.

Merely matching last year's efforts would be a dubious distinction and worthy of a pink slip by year's end. But actually taking a step back? Well, that's when a bye-bye can be expected during the bye week.

If that happens, the seat under GM Reggie McKenzie is going to get awfully hot as well. 

To date, the main complaint from the Raider Nation and owner Mark Davis is that the progress has been painfully slow under DA's and Reggie's watch.

But now, with the progress yielding to apparent regress, we are on the brink of yet another regime change in Alameda.

38 Comments:

Blogger nyraider said...

Over the last three years, mistakes viewed independently seem somewhat circumstantial but in aggregate are more egregious.

Hindsight or not, turning over the roster three years in a row doesn't seem very well thought out. And we are currently sitting on a lot of one-year contracts that will create more turnover next year. Hard to maintain continuity, and Allen touched on that in his Monday PC (“lots of new players.”)

Add to that the fact that we went from a label of being the youngest team (a fair distinction for a team rebuilding) to the oldest team over the course of one off-season... at least implying some desperation to "win now." Clearly, that’s backfired.

At this point, the team and its fans need an immediate boost; and it will have to come against some long odds.

All we can do is stay tuned, I guess.

1:03 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The reason that I've never had faith in the whole mess is the lack of loyalty to players. The complete turn over every season is a product of that.

I get that they want to only commit to those who come in and play their hearts out - but the problem with that philosophy is the player will only play his heart out for a team that believes in him and appreciates his value. If he's got a one year contract, he's already thinking about his next job.

And it shocks me how little respect McKenzie seems to have for continuity. Teams that play for a long time together play best. One thing about Al is that he understood loyalty.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Tinfoil:

Take,I almost always agree with you.

This time I super agree with you.

We have way better talent that the product that showed up versus Jets and Texans.

Ryan Fitzpatric must have wetdreams about playing us. We simply can't stop the guy.

We have no discipline on defense. No gap control. We must be the worst tackling team in the game. And we can't cover anybody.

CWood was right: We suck.

I hate to say this, but when we hit the bye week at 0-4, changes must be made. DA and Tarver must go.

I'm OK with Spanarano as Coach. For remainder of 2014 anyway.

For 2015 I'd like to see a serious, tough, no-bs coach like Jack Del Rio come in.

1:45 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

The Raiders are going to get their asses handed to them this weekend in New England. Clown Golfcart.

1:50 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

BTW, far fewer personal attacks on this page lately. Very nice, Take. (oh, and on the above note, I hope I'm wrong, but I'm probably not). Cheers.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tinfoil

Do you really think the Raiders have talent? Though DA sucks I think the lack of talent is the bigger problem.

Two above average NFL starters on offense in Wiz and Reece, Jano as kicker, and Woodson maybe on D. So basically out of 22 starters and two specialists the Raiders have 4 guy maybe 5 once Mack develops that could start on lets say the top 15 teams in the league.

That is the main problem

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...



I don't think we should look at it as, who is failing more, Reggie, or Allen ?

They are both failing equally.

So I think M. Davis should not split the baby, but rather go with a clean slate approach.

However, because Allen is under contract for the rest of this yr, and all of next.

I would not argue with a NY Jets approach.

Jets brought in new GM, John Idzik, with HC Rex Ryan having one yr. left on contract.

Idzik observed Ryan for one season, and signed him to a one yr. extention.

I could live with that scenerio.

A new GM, with D.A. having one yr. left. That could work.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that there are people that are missing the mark on who the fall guy on this thing is. It isn't Dennis' fault that he was hired, with no head coaching experience, to weather through the deconstruction and...well...deconstruction of the organization and produce a playoff caliber team when he was never given a chance to succeed. This is all Reggie. Pure and simple.

I'm not a fan of Dennis and truly believe he is not the right person for the job. I don't fault him though. Not completely. He gets 2% of the blame, the other 98% is all papa Reggie:

- QB. Wilson, Flynn, Pryor, Palmer, Schaub etc...this has been a disaster. All handled (or mis-handled) by Reggie. Carr shows signs of promise but can you really give credit to Reggie for drafting the best QB on the board when that was the biggest team need in the second round? Anyone on this blog could have made that pick. The hope is that Carr remains focused and doesn't get jaded trying to navigate this season.

- Vehldeer and Houston. Nothing else to say here. That is was just GM debauchery. You can hear every side of the story but at the end of the day with more money than any other team has had in history in the offseason he let two of the cornerstone, young players in this organization walk.

- Drafts have been a disaster. Raiders have the lowest starting % of draftees over Reggie's tenure. That is just a fact. It amuses me when people defend him. For god sakes, he drafted a guy in the first round whose last experience on the football field was being carted off in an ambulance and almost died. Followed that pick with a guy who had not played more than 1 year in organized football. For a self proclaimed talent guru the Raiders have done nothing but fail over and over in the draft. How is that Dennis' fault? That is just inexcusable.

- He came in with the idea that he was going to amputate anything that resembled the previous regime. Everything. He inherited a team that was 8-8 and ripped it apart. Understand, a team that is 8-8, although not super bowl bound, has some positives. He has not been able to immolate the performance of that team since he walked in the front door. He was basically out performed by a senile old man who was about 35 years past his prime. It was irresponsible.

- He deconstructed and dismantled the team to have the biggest net salary cap buffer in the history of the league. He used that money to build the oldest team in the league, depending on other teams decade old scouting in the process. The team isn't an ounce better than they were 3 years ago when he took over. Kind of get the feeling that everyone is pointing the finger at Allen. What has Reggie done, from a GM standpoint, to positively turn the organization around?

- He is a buffoon. I don't know why more people don't point this out, maybe because of the psycho PC world we live in..I don't know. Have you heard him speak? Does he carry himself like a put together executive who is the man to turn the organization around? He sounds like a Neanderthal who made a stop at Men's warehouse on his way to his first day of work. There is an "it" factor that every successful GM in the league has. Does Reggie carry himself like someone Robert Kraft would hire? It is embarrassing. At least when Al got up in front of the cameras like a diseased crypt keeper and embarrassed the organization it was begin he was old and crazy. Reggie talks and it is just embarrassing.

At the end of the day Allen probably has to go. However, my biggest fear is that Reggie would be the person allowed to make the decision on the next leader of this organization. He has botched everything that he has touched. Davis needs to walk Reggie out and let the new GM evaluate the coaching situation and make their own decisions. I don't believe anyone would be thrilled with another 3 years of Reggie.

Bryan

6:43 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Bryan is bringing it!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...



Bryan, great post, and all true.

Reggie is the worst GM in the league.

Allen might have something going on. But we'll never know because he has no good players to coach.

Even Vince Lombardi couldn't win without good players in Washington.

Reggie probably tried to sign Joan Rivers while she lay in a coma. Reggie = DISASTER!!!!!!

7:15 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Allen's primary problem is that he has to start over every season with almost a completely new team. But I don't know that some of that doesn't rub off on Allen. Does Allen do a good enough job communicating the players he wants to keep? Does he have input on the players being signed or drafted? A lot of people here feel that Gruden left because he didn't have enough influence on who was drafted or signed. Does Allen?

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...



BR, true, but...

Gruden had a GM,(Davis), actually tying to help him win by aquiring good players.

Allen has a GM,(Reggie), who set out to build a 4 win team, and succeeded.

Allen was 38 yrs old when he took the job. He was in the league for about 2 minutes when Reggie came knocking.

10:29 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I heard on NFL radio today that Mark Davis stated Allen would be evaluated after the next two games [at the bye]. That's pretty telling that Allen is on the bubble right now... and not McKenzie (deserving or not).

3:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

If that's true, I'd say it's likely a done deal that Allen is gone. I think he'll have to beat NE to save his job.

And if Allen is fired, I'd expect that Sparano would be named IHC (Interim Head Coach).

The question after that is, how many games does Sparano have to win to save Reggie's job?

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Bryan, while true that RM has done these things, it is also true that he has worked closely with Dennis Allen in bringing in the guys Allen wants as well.

As far as putting guys on 1 year contracts and letting key players go; Bill Billichick does the same thing. The only difference right now, is Billichick is better, but that came with experience. He didn't start out so well (with the Brownies).

Even though our team was 8-8, we were still having some problems on defense, and guys not being able to stop the run. Go back and look at how many people on this site were complaining about the defense.

It looks like after a year of possibly cycling away from that, we've ended up right back to square one, which again falls solely on coaching.

Overall as a GM, I think he's done an average job. Not the best, not the greatest, average. But I've loved some of his moves lately as well (Carr, Mack, Jackson, Donald Penn, Kevin Boothe, J Howard). I've questioned others (Schaub, MJD, McFadden, DJ). I still think RM has a lot to prove on the football talent front.

Let's look at something you didn't though. The football culture front in Alameda. He has changed the culture of the Raiders, which he and Mark Davis both said was the first and foremost most important to the process of building a successful team. He has taken a talent scrapped, cash scrapped team and is trying to make it attractive again to players and free agents.
I would argue that the Raiders organization is a completely different organization than it was 3 years ago when he took over. That my friend, is amazing in itself. I think he deserves a chance to prove he can change the scenery of the talent scrapped team. Just my opinion.

4:48 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

Memories... one of the resons the raiders still suck, and may very well notwin a game this year...

Flash back... 2011

For all intents and purposes QB Carson Palmer was retired. In 2011 he refused to play any more for the Bengals and took to the links instead of the practice field.
The Bengals accepted this and moved on. Everyone did.

Except for the Raiders, who traded a 1st and 2nd round pick for the QB mid season.

Palmer would play just 2 years in Oakland

before being traded

again

for only

a

6th

round

pick.

5:46 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

2 0 1 6 ?

Bonus bummer, for those who forget:

Jon Gruden was the Coach of the Raiders.

Jon Gruden was traded to the Buccaneers for 4 1st and 2nd round draft picks.

Jon Gruden coaches the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl

341

days

later.

Never Forget.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bryan, well said

6:26 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Nate, I don't see much evidence of culture change, at least in the performance on the field.

Also, regarding your comment, "I would argue that the Raiders organization is a completely different organization than it was 3 years ago when he took over."

Wouldn't that be the minimum job requirement (and a fairly easy one at that) for a GM inheriting the post-Al Davis Raiders?

I want to give you 250,000k per year (or whatever Reggie is making), control over football operations, a scouting department, draft picks and money to spend in free agency. You will be paid handsomely for three years to focus solely on the Raiders football operations. Let's assume that you already have some NFL executive experience and contacts across the league.

Given all of that, how would you fare? Would you at least have cleaned some house, modernized the operations, hired a questionable coach, whiffed on some draft picks and hit on others, whiffed on numerous quarterbacks, lost some key free agents and signed some others? All while posting a .250 winning percentage?

If so, then congratulations, you're qualified to run the Oakland Raiders!

7:38 PM  
Blogger x said...

Bravo Bryan.

McKenzie kind of lost me at Veldheer and Houston.

Also, really believe he should have kept Hue for a year to see what he could do. He was a tie-breaker away from the playoffs.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

A blowout loss to the Pats (very likely) will be the final nail in Allen' coffin. If the Pats game is competitive, he has a small sliver of a chance to retain his job with a victory over the Fins in London.

My gut feeling is at some point during this season or 1 day at the completion of the season, Allen is gone. I also think that Davis, lacking the wherewithal to conduct a thorough search for a new GM will take the easy, lazy default way out and give McKenzie 1 more bite of the apple to hire a new HC.

Regardless, we are looking at being at ground zero in 2015 with perhaps a few building chips of a foundation at best.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous The5er said...

Very well said Bryan.

I have to admit, much of my venom thus far has been aimed at DA. You're right though, while he has a number of glaring weaknesses, he was asked to deliver on a nearly insurmountable task.

Jones used to sit in here and argue that DA was the result of a selection process in which "there was nobody else" who would take the job with a franchise in such disarray.

What he failed to recognize is that the job of a CEO in any industry is to evaluate his current talent level against the list available candidates. What I mean by that is Reggie didn't haveto fire HuJack... he chose to fire him. And that decision was made with the knowledge of the short list of candidates available at the time.

HuJack had just competed an 8-8 season where he lost the franchise owner and his starting QB in mid season. If there was a notable candidate on the market I could have lived with the decision to replace Jackson... but replacing him with a completely unknown commodity to restore the franchise in such a venerable situation seemed mostly ego driven. Reggie wanted his guy.

Well you're exactly right Bryan... he got his guy and now its time to assign blame where its due. Its not that DA is a bad guy. Reggie is the one who set him up for failure. He was too young, too inexperienced for the magnitude of his assignment. And that falls squarely on Reggie at this point.

Firing DA and leaving Reggie in a position to select the next candidate would be a tremendous injustice and more importantly, put us at risk for another poor selection.

Echoing your thoughts Bryan!

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...



"He,(Reggie) has changed the culture of the Raiders"
*************************************************************************************************************

Nate, I don't get this. What evidence can you point to, where Reggie, has changed Raiders, culture ?

I just don't see it.

3:30 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

McKenzie's tenure isn't void of culture change. One aspect that immediately comes to mind is the removal of scholarships from the program. Actually, that may bave been taken too far, by giving players as little as one game auditions then benching or releasing them.

By their own standard in this regard, Allen and McKenzie would be long gone.

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...



NYR, just this week, Allen said Raiders needed a new "mindset".

He was refering to Raiders lack of toughness for stopping the run on defense.

Also, not being able to run ball on offense.

Raiders have been clearly pushed around for 2 games.

If they get physically dominated, lack toughness, and need a new mindset.

What kind of culture exists ?

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is some context to how bad a job Reggie has done. The 2006 roster under Shell had far more NFL caliber starters than today's roster. Truly scary. Reggie is much more the problem than DA

http://www.footballdb.com/teams/nfl/oakland-raiders/roster/2006

Sandy

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

My evidence is we no longer see Baghdad Bob punching local reporters for talking bad about the Raiders.

We also haven't seen a continuing dysfunction in how the leadership operated the last 4 years of Al Davis' regime.

Granted, I never said what he has done has been perfect, but what I did say is that there is a visible improvement in the front offices of the organization.

We are monetarily in a position to attract competitive players, but as we are learning, those competitive players are not willing to come to Oakland because they are still fighting the persona/image of Al Davis. I think there are also other reasons like having a weak coach/coaching staff, not wanting to end their careers trying to build a competitive team, the attitude in the league that says we must win now, etc.

Whatever the reason, though the culture in the organization has changed, the image of the organization has not. That is where Reggie needs to focus now, and make it happen, and that will happen with the players and coaches he brings in. I think we all agree that he has missed more than he has hit, and that is where he needs to improve.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...



Nate, 34 games into the Reggie, Allen regime, and the HC is saying his team needs a new "mindset".

The players are all looking at each other, claiming "blown assignments", are the reason for bad D.

We all watched Raiders get shoved around first 2 games of season.

The leader of the team, Woodson, just said the team "sucks".

This is not dysfunction ?

This is the new Reggie, culture ?

The problem is the image of Al Davis, who died nearly 3 yrs ago ?

Sorry, but I'm not buying this.

9:07 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think it's difficult to see change because the results are pretty much the same.

Apparently, there are many ways to skin a cat = all bad.

The top dogs all talk to each other which, in itself, is a significant change from the OH projector days in Oakland.

IMO, it won't take much for McKenzie to convince Mark Davis that the current problems are still symptomatic of the lengthy “destruction” process. If so, that might be enough to leave everything status quo for the season. Not saying I agree, but it's possible.

9:18 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

No scholarships? What is McFadden?

10:10 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

"IMO, it won't take much for McKenzie to convince Mark Davis that the current problems are still symptomatic of the lengthy “destruction” process. If so, that might be enough to leave everything status quo for the season. Not saying I agree, but it's possible." This is what I believe will happen, and I don't agree with the approach.

If I were Mark, what I'd do is to make McKenzie make the decision on whether to fire Allen at the Bye. I think McKenzie should fire Allen. No matter who McKenzie appoints as interim HC, Davis isn't stuck with a long term contract.

If McKenzie bids to keep Allen, then Davis should give him the season. Understand that nothing that happens in the mid season will mean anything come the end of the season. It's possible that the team somehow manages to gel by the half way point and we begin to win games.

For instance, suppose we go 0-8. But then the team manages to put it together and goes 7-1 in the second half of the season on a tough schedule. I think everyone here would be on board with saying, at that point, let Allen finish out his contract.

The reason I think we simply must fire Allen is simple. He was brought here to change the culture on the team. He said Sunday, thirty-four games into his tenure, that we need to change the culture.

11:11 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I will say this about the need for the team to gel. In the middle of Gruden's time in the S&B the D was also having trouble. It changed when the players started communicating with each other on the field during games.

The Raiders were getting creamed by KC when Biekert figured out how to read what play KC was going to run as they came to the scrimmage line. At half time they discussed how to relay the info to the rest of the team on the field. They became a pretty good defense after that.

12:40 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

BR, I didn't agree with re-signing McFadden but that's hardly a scholarship by previous standards. Many believe his contract is below market. Plus, he has talent. His problem is staying healthy.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

A 1 year, below market contract for McFadden is low risk not a "scholarship".

A 12 game tryout for an interim HC isn't the worst thing in the world and could be the type of "shake-up" message that is needed to re-boot the current path we are on.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

"Destruction" Haiku
This is hard to watch
The team I love struggling
Will they resurrect?

7:17 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Howdy "OakTownBlues"...

I was one who was pimping the Exile of "DA" by the last few game of the season and disgruntled when he was retained as the "LameDuck" for yet another season of suffering...I just didn't get that and still don't...

So now we find ourselves in very familiar territory re: "HC"s but in far worse condition as almost "Homeless in America"...Talk about things getting worse!!!...Can I post how much I miss Al yet?? (~_*)

Posting "Told Ya So" has lost all meaning of late as we sink ever deeper down into that "BlackHole" Abyss form which I see little hope of escape...Just Pathetic!!!

I fell victim of the "KoolAid" after the 4th week of the preseason and thought I saw hope on the horizon...But that was just a "Carr" illusion and a "D" that was posturing about the same as that "06" team did under "Shell II"...This could actually be worse which is really hard to believe...

But learning my lesson I won't be touching that "KoolAid" again until I actually see something worth celebrating...Unfortunately the only thing on the horizon that's remotely worth such celebration is the long awaited "EXILE" of "DA"...

Then maybe after the Bye I will again feel some resemblance of hope...

PantyRaider...Remarkable How Things Got This Bad!!!!//_

10:13 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Having a player fulfill his contract because there is no suitable player to replace him is not a scholarship either.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

New take is up, discussing Hue, Veldheer, etc.

11:58 AM  

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